First Daffodils of 2017

Every year in the garden is different. Sometimes it's warmer than normal, sometimes colder. We may have more rain than usual or we may be in a drought. All of these factors affect how the plants grow, what comes up, and when they make their first appearance. One special event I like to notate each year on this garden blog is the flowering of the first daffodils of the year. It's exciting to see flowers begin to bloom after a drab and dreary winter season. Daffodils tend to be one of the first flowers of the year to flower in my garden. In addition to daffodils we'll see Winter Blooming Jasmine and other winter to spring blooming flowers begin to make their appearance. I've also seen foliage of iris and hyacinth beginning to emerge. Watching the progression of winter to spring is one of the most exciting parts of gardening!…

Continue Reading

2016 April Garden Gardening Update

If you're a gardener (and if you're reading this you probably are!) spring time excites you like no other season. April is a great month to get in the garden and get some work done but always remember to take a few moments to appreciate what's growing! Here's a quick rundown of a little of what is growing in my April garden in Tennessee. The Yoshino Cherry trees were spectacular this year! We had a storm this week that blew all the petals everywhere and it appeared like someone had a wedding in our backyard. The flowers only last a little while but they were amazing while they painted our yard in color. My red buckeye tree is just beginning blooming. This native plant is a hummingbird magnet and it's coming out just in time for the little birds to enjoy. My hops vine ('Cascade') is coming back nicely. It's…

Continue Reading

Tough Plants – Salvia nemorosa

While the winter is still in gear I thought it might be helpful to begin reviewing some of the toughest plants I have grown over the years. I've grown a lot of them (and killed a few of them along the way). In my garden it has to be a tough plant to survive over the years. Today I'm going to mention one of my all time garden favorite perennials: salvia. I'm not talking about the annual salvia that a lot of folks use as a bedding plant. I'm talking about the Salvia nemorosas of the world. The 'May Night' salvias, the 'Caradonna Salvia', or the 'East Friesland' salvias are the toughest salvias I have grown. All three of these salvia varieties have been planted in my garden and all three have survived neglect, transplanting, drought, rabbits, and deer. Let me be clear here, I don't take care of my…

Continue Reading

Daylilies in Bloom: Daylily Hybridizing and Dividing

It's that time of year where the daylilies are becoming the showoffs of the garden. Daylilies (Hemerocallis) area very common collectable perennial here in the south. They propagate very easily through division and are a prime starter plant for people interested in learning how to hybridize plants. Here's a look at a little of what is blooming in our garden this summer: Daylily Hybridization The first two photos are results of my hybridization attempts. While they are pretty, they never developed into a "must have" daylily. Hybridizing is fairly simple, just take pollen from the stamen and dab it on the pistol. It's best done in the early morning before the pollen dries out too much.Make sure you mark the hybridized flower so that you can collect seeds from it later when the pods are ready.         Daylily Division To divide a daylily just dig up the…

Continue Reading

Sights from Around the Garden

I haven't made it out into the garden much lately other than to gather the occasional item for the kitchen but I did manage to grab the camera and head into the yard this afternoon for a few minutes. Here's a little of what I found! This is a 'Golden Globe' arborvitae.  It has a nice rounded habit with golden edged leaves hence the name! I collected a few seed pods from a Hardy Hibiscus.  The flowers are 6-8 inches in size.   My seed grown heucheras are doing well.  I need to transplant them into large pots soon. The Tennessee Coneflowers are just about done blooming.  It's time to collect some seed. These zinnias are looking great!  Of course zinnias almost always do! 

Continue Reading

The Can’t Miss Six!

Below you will find six plants that are some of the easiest to care for and grow in the garden.  All are drought tolerant and are very seldom bothered very little by deer or rabbits (two of my greatest nemeses!) In addition to their drought tolerant and pest resistant properties these plants are very good at attracting beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, ladybugs, lacewings, as well as many others. Plant them near a vegetable garden to discourage pests and encourage predator insects to hang out where you need them.  As an added bonus these flowers are all beautiful in the garden! For more information on the above plants check out the posts below! Achillea Echinacea/Coneflower Cosmos Rudbeckia Salvia Zinnia

Continue Reading

Raised Beds Aren’t Just for Vegetables

I mostly use raised beds for my vegetables but the truth is almost any plant can do great in a raised bed. Herbs, flowers, and ornamentals can all thrive in raised beds.  What makes a raised bed an awesome growing method is the soil that it uses.  You can mix the perfect soil mixture for any plant you want to grow whether it be ornamental or edible! Rosemary Herbs in a raised bed will want a well drained soil that isn't too rich.  Often herbs do much better when planted in a nutrient deficient soil so you don't have to build a rich compost-like soil for them.  For herbs a well drained mix is very important.  Soggy soil can lead to rotting and the eventual demise for some herbs.  They can handle conditions that are drier. In fact the flavor that herbs produce can be enhanced in dry conditions. When…

Continue Reading

Easy to grow, Low Maintenance Plants for the Garden

Over Christmas we traveled a little.  Not much, we never go very far.  We just visited with family.  One evening a family member asked me if I knew of some attractive, easy to grow, low maintenance plants she could put in the front of her house.  She wanted something she could plant that wouldn't require a whole lot of time to maintain since she has a young baby and a busy work schedule.  Low-maintenance plantings shouldn't need much pruning, supplemental watering, and should continue to re-bloom without deadheading if at all possible.  Essentially low maintenance plants should thrive on neglect! The list of plants below includes the three I suggested as well as several others that several gardeners on Facebook suggested! Easy to grow, Low-Maintenance Plant Suggestions for Home Gardeners 'Homestead Purple' Verbena Verbena - annual or perennial verbena forms either a nice mound or a sprawling groundcover.  'Homestead Purple' verbena is…

Continue Reading

Flowering in Fall

Fall is well known for its colorful foliage that paints the country each year but there's still lots to appreciate among the flowering plants!  Here's a few of our current blooming flowers from the garden.  Some don't have much longer to go until the frost declares an end to the show. The 'Clara Curtis' mums put on a spectacular show by our front walkway each year.  They get a little large and spread via rhizomes so make sure you have space for them before you plant.  These are one of the last blooms in our garden to show off every year. Sure makes for a good finish! The 'Sheffield Pink' mums look so similar to the 'Clara Curtis' that the only reason I know the difference is because I know where I planted them! Gaillardia or Blanket Flower is a great repeat bloomer that keeps going thorough out the summer…

Continue Reading

An Interesting Zinnia

The other day I was taking the camera out for a walk.  We do that often around here.  Just my camera and me wandering through the garden.  Gazing at flowers, bugs, butterflies, and anything else of interest.  I think you know this already - but I take a lot of pictures!  I stopped by to examine a zinnia intending to take a picture of it to highlight the flower parts for a possible post on hybridization.  I never did any actual hybridization on the zinnia but I did notice something I though was very interesting on this zinnia.  If you take a look in the picture below, pay close attention to the petals. As you get closer to the center of the flower the petals turn a purple color making the zinnia have bi-colored petals! The coloring is very faint but it gives the zinnia an effervescent look in the sunlight.  Looking for…

Continue Reading
Close Menu